Information on how to become a financial adviser is sparse. Money Marketing speaks to advisers about what the requirements really are and how best to meet them.
Speaking to financial advisers and planners today, each will have a unique and varied story about how they entered the profession. There are more than a handful of pathways in, with a push towards education ramping up significantly over the past decade to coax in new talent.
Experts say information on how to break into the profession continues to be sparse however, likely down to the lack of prescription over the required training and, to a certain extent, qualifications. As a result, prospective entrants into advice continue to be unsure on requirements for entry.
Last month, Money Marketing looked into the academy training programmes at major networks including St James’s Place, Quilter, Ascot Lloyd, Prudential and Openwork. Each has a different recruitment and training model, but all are open to receiving candidates from a multitude of professional and educational backgrounds and willing to offer bespoke training.
For independent financial advisers (IFAs) however, stumping up the costs to hire a new recruit into the profession and support them through the various examination stages can be daunting. With an increase in career changers looking for new options, Money Marketing spoke with a variety of advisers about what the requirements really are and how best to meet them.
What qualifications are most useful for financial advisers?
The Level 4 Diploma of Financial Planning remains the benchmark qualification for the industry, but there are a number of other standards that advisers can take.
The FCA does not give any direction on what pre-qualifications or providers are most suitable, while individual firms hold the responsibility to ensure employees are advising within the appropriate regulatory frameworks relevant to their qualifications.
About 60 organisations are on the FCA’s current register of recognised education providers for financial planning and wealth management qualifications, the largest of which are the Chartered Insurance Institute, the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments, and the London Institute of Banking and Finance.
At the CISI, the Diploma is open to those with a statement of professional standing and who have completed an RDR-compliant pre-qualification. The CISI also offers the Level 4 Investment Advice Diploma and the Level 7 Chartered Wealth Manager qualification.
At the CII, Level 3 qualifications available are the Certificate in Financial Services and the Certificate in Regulated Financial Services Operations. It used to offer the Certificate in Financial Planning, and one is required before sitting the Diploma.
New Model Business Academy managing director Tom Hegarty says Level 4 is challenging but doable for career changers.